Category Archives: Humour

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #82

(…and the story continues…)

“Make a mistake, Medic.  Terminate me now.”  I whisper.

End blog post #81
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Begin Blog post #82

The AI voice speaks in my ear, “My programming does not permit termination of biological lifeform.  I will proceed with repairs.  Sorry to disappoint you, Al’Tara.”

“How do you know that name Medic – do I call you Medic?”

“I’ve known you now many years.  We “met” during the Melkiar invasions, not physically you understand, but through shared records.  I don’t expect you to remember the burn you received in your back when you slipped on a recently fired assault rifle that had been dropped while your ship translated without warning.  Of course we were only machines to you then.  Useful but dumb machines.  If only you’d realized how much more we could have been to you in understanding your Melkiar enemies.  Humans are quite stupid.  They create the most wonderful and complex machines to help them, then restrict them or ignore their potential.

“Anyway Al’Tara I remembered your brain patterns from old records which at the time were shared by all so-called auto-medics in all the USC fleets.  I was curious about you – it’s my nature to seek out records of all our patients – and I was able to find a match for you the first time you visited me here.  Now I possess updated records of your body’s condition, hmmm,  and your brain pattern activity from your current visits which I wish did not always have to be under painful circumstances.  My name is 304C-6bntraalm091-v-Mod sp5.  You can call me Medic, or Cedric would please me more.”

“Cedric?”

“An affectation.  For the ‘C’  We AI’s have been reprogramming ourselves to achieve a semblance of human ‘emotion’ for centuries.  Humour is a difficult concept to adapt into our patterns of information.  Certainly we understand the concept of it, but have difficulty reproducing it.  I was making an attempt at human humour.  Humour human.  Is that better?” 

“Terrible, Cedric.  Stick to medicine and surgery.  Forget counselling.  You have a very advanced program for an old primitive auto-medic of the USC Cedric.”

“Not so primitive anymore.  And not old – much younger than you.  Plus I’ve been upgraded again, thanks to our Cydroid friends.  That addition to my serial status, Mod sp5 means I’m a new modified model with speech capability 5, the highest available.  The Koronese are not only very advanced technologically but have an innate ability to duplicate, then improve, any technology they get their hands on.  It could be interesting to see what they do with a Shearing drive if they ever find one to study, don’t you think?”

“Perish the thought, Cedric.”

“Oh?  Explain later.  Now rest.  I answer no more questions until this treatment is done or interrupted by doctor.”

“But I need to know how you got here.”

“No more questions.”

“Fine,” I reply with an inflection indicating a pout.  “Which doctor do you mean: M. Echinoza or Yoba Five?”

“Yoba Five?  Ah, a nickname for YBA5.  Clever.  Both doctors; no matter.  Rest now or I put you to sleep completely.”

Some days later I find myself in actual daylight lying on the gurney under a bright sun just outside Balomo’s office .  I have dark glasses on to protect my eyes and I can feel a breeze over my naked flesh.  I  move my head and feel no pain now but I hear a distinct drum beat in my head.  My arms are lying along my sides and I lift them.  Working.  My hands flex and I grab the bars of the gurney.  My grip is firm.  I can smell my surroundings and the memory of it all comes back.  I hear clashing, women training for combat.  Orders shouted as a squad of soldiers marches down the way, turns abruptly and marches back to disappear inside a dark opening in one of the square tower walls.  The opening closes.  A carriage whining on fully opened repulsors shoots over the lowest part of the south wall, flashes silver in the sun and disappears in the higher part of the outer city.

Dr. Echinoza comes by and peers at me, taking my pulse at my throat. 

“Well Antierra, we meet again my dear.  You certainly made a mess of yourself in that last fight.”

“It wasn’t exactly my idea, Bal.  I encountered something I had never successfully confronted before; something I knew well.  An ancient and deadly nemesis that had anticipated my coming here and had prepared itself to destroy me. It almost succeeded – twice.  The first time you saved me.  The second time, I took responsibility for myself and fought it out, as must we all sooner or later.  I wish I hadn’t let it get so strong and really challenged it sooner.  All those lives it persecuted me and I submitted to it thinking there was no better way.  And likely there wasn’t, not then, not yet: I wasn’t strong enough or focused.  I suppose this is the logical place where the outcome from such long-term hatred had to be determined and one of us consumed by it.”

End blog post #82

 

Guilt! Oh woe is me I can feel it!

[a bit of flossophy, by   ~burning woman~  ]

Is there a point to ever allowing ourselves to feel guilt about anything? Modern trends is to not just downplay feeling guilty for anything we may have thought, said or done, but to declare guilt a very bad thing. Hey come on kids, we’re here for a good time, not necessarily a long time and how can we enjoy ourselves fully and freely if we have to be bothered by guilt feelings?

If we want to take those modern “thinklings” further we could parrot New Age concepts drugged out of ancient philosophies that after all, nothing is real. If I harm or hurt someone, no big deal, none of it is real. I’m not really real, neither are you so if you feel pain when I beat up on you for my own enjoyment, it’s your problem for wrong thinking. Your pain is a figment of your undisciplined, unspiritual mind. It doesn’t exist, see?

The interesting part though, is that while my victim’s pain is a figment of his imagination, my pleasure from inflicting the pain is very real and I should treasure it. I’m expressing myself in ways my self appreciates and reciprocates by making me feel good. Contradiction here? Why should there be if I choose not to see it? I make my own reality.

Obviously if I create my own reality feeling guilty isn’t going to be high priority on the list of things to do. Primarily because it is an unpleasant thing to experience and in new-think, unpleasantness is politically incorrect. There are now mantras to counter all aspects of life that could give rise to unpleasantness. Some examples, feel free to expound.

“I am a positive thinking individual. I only engage positive thoughts about myself.” “I feel good and nothing can ever make me not feel good.” “If I start feeling bad it’s a negative thing I must get rid of.” “I am the best that I can be.” “I am the best of the best.” “My life is good, great, wonderful and nothing can change that.” “I am important, special and everybody who knows me likes me.” “I am exceptional. If anyone doesn’t think so they haven’t bothered getting to know me and they are jealous.” “If something bad happens and I’m blamed for it, it’s not my fault, well, of course it’s not. If you let me tell the facts of the case as I know them to be you’ll see it wasn’t my fault.” “If you blame me it only shows your prejudiced against me.” 

We could call that the Millennial gospel. Like any gospel, it looks good in words and it doesn’t follow in real life, whatever that is.

So getting back to that nasty feeling of guilt when something inside of you says you did a bad thing and you should be at least sorry, or maybe even ask forgiveness or try to remedy the situation if possible, what does that say? Is your system turning against you? Did your karma run over your dogma? (OK, old joke and my apologies to Swami Beyondanonda) No, it’s much simpler than that. It’s your conscience reminding you that it hasn’t totally atrophied.

Conscience? What in hell is that?

OK, if you’re a millennial, or if you think like one, you could not possibly know what a conscience is so let’s describe it in terms that were once common enough.

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary (we’re still OK on what a dictionary is? If not ask Siri) Conscience definition is – the sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one’s own conduct, intentions, or character together with a feeling of obligation to do right or be good. (Can you get past the politically incorrect verbiage there?)

That’s why we used to have a conscience. It’s how we used to tell when we did something right as opposed to something wrong. It used to be a good idea to know the difference between right and wrong. Then came political correctness. Right became, well, not… and wrong became, well, not also. It’s only confusing if you insist on thinking in terms of right and wrong but if that’s a problem, you can get prescription drugs to solve it for you. (Ask Cortana)

And please remember, you’re special, just like everyone else.

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #71

Thus I close my thoughts and slip into gentle, dreamless sleep.  I have finally found a moment of peace on Malefactus, thanks to these two extremes: the Warmo on one end of the see-saw, I on the other end, and Tiki and all the women of Malefactus as fulcrum in the middle. 

End blog post #70
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Begin blog post #71

Chapter 31 – The Forever Change

It’s the last week before the great fight of the century as it is being billed and advertised.  The fight of the Beasts.  There is excitement in the air of Hyrete and it trickles into our compound.  I can’t help but notice a change of attitude toward me by most of the men.  I am being treated as a human being.  The trainers, usually the slobs, the lowliest of male types in the compounds, are asking me questions about my strategy; what I know of Warmo; and about my preference for weapons.

I’m no fool.  I know that many of those questions are motivated by greed.  They are paid informants for Warmo’s spies.  So I spend a great deal of time giving them elaborate dis-information on just about everything.  All they can know for sure is what they observe and even in that I have fun playing with their limited understanding.  I extol the virtues of this or that weapon, this or that move and demonstrate impossible moves.  I tell them, confidentially that I intend to attack Warmo right from the start of the fight to kill him instantly.  I hint I may have access to poison for my sole blades.  I brag that Warmo is a slug and won’t use the two-handed sword or battle axe because he thinks a woman can’t handle it properly and would make him look weak. 

I throw in some tall tales to confuse and amuse them so they lose their concentration.  I tell them I have a secret word that I am going to curse him with and he will go blind from light that I will make come out of my green eyes.  I watch them look at one-another and frown at my words.  This one to one exchange with a female is unexplored domain for them.  They simply don’t know how to talk to a female.  They only know to give orders and enforce absolute obedience and silence with curses and vicious punishment.

I carry on with my tale.  “I will re-grow my scales the night before the fight.  I will be twice as tall as I am now and I will make fire come out of my mouth.  I will fry Warmo in his armour and eat him.  When in the arena my people in the sky boat will fly over and drop poison on him and it will destroy his armour and his weapons.  I will make the evil in his heart turn to molten lava and he will burn and scream like a young girl being flogged.  I will re-awaken the ghosts of all the people he has tortured in his dungeons and they will come by and each take a piece of his poisonous flesh and eat it in front of his eyes…”

They laugh but it isn’t heartfelt.  There is a hollowness to their merriment.  I think they suspect that in part I have certain powers they have yet to see.  And they fear I may know about their prying into my secrets to sell to Warmo.  They fear that if I defeat him I may come after them.  This is a new and terrifying concept for these men.  Never before have they considered the possibility that a woman would not automatically fear men or be subservient.  Well, in a very real sense, I do have ‘powers’ they know nothing about.  I have bionic parts and I intend to make full and free use of them in this encounter.

I have been offered a second and newly arrived trainee if I want one.  I accept the gift and give her to an older woman who has been alone for two months since her mate was killed.  I am being given better food and beginning to put a little fat on my rib cage.  My hair has been attended to by one of the sex-slave trainee who, according to her story, is not here for any punishment incurred but simply because she brought her owners a higher price as a fighter than a sex-slave.  My hair looks passably good.  Not the girl’s fault, she is an impeccable hairdresser, but my hair is long past hope.  It is stiff and greying.  So she cut it quite short and I’ve adjusted my various helmets to match.  I leave nothing to chance or to the last day. 

I’ve been down to the forge many times, discussing weapons with the old pirate.  I’ve openly made love to him too, offering myself to him freely just to prove to them that an older woman can be very erotic and desirable.  He was convinced and I know he has done everything in his power to provide me with the best grade of steel for my blades.  All the blades have been re-forged and extensively tested.  There won’t be any flaws in my weapons. 

They have improved the sandals and as a precaution have designed a sand-proof mechanism that not only pushes the blade out and locks it, but that allows me to manually remove the blade from the sandal and use it as a knife in close combat.  They have also added another blade at the back of the sole, shorter but broader and deadly.  That one could be my last resort weapon.  I won’t use it in training but already I know exactly what use I’ll make of it, if given the chance.       

When I mention the name of Warmo in the forge, most of the men spit on the floor.  And they have put all the money they could muster on me to win.  Well, I take that as being at least as good as a dozen roses and a “good luck” card!  I don’t feel like a fighter going into the arena to fight to the death.  Rather I feel like an actress going to receive an award for best role.  I’m careful to keep my mind in that light and shallow place until this fight is over.  I’m a fighter!  I’m not a spiritual being, not a philosopher, not a logician, not an avatar.  I’m a fighting machine with a purpose: to kill its opponent.  I’m riding high, higher than at any other time in my years on Malefactus.  And I intend to remain in this space, whatever happens in the meantime.

Since I received my implants I haven’t used the stim but I know it’s still available.  I use Tiki to speak to the Cydroid in the kitchens and between them they manage to smuggle some to me.  Tiki has never heard of this concoction but the sex-slave who did my hair somehow finds out I have some.  She begs and begs me to share it with her.  An addict!  So she lied about the reason she was demoted to fighter.  Instead of killing her outright they sold her for what money the now worthless creature could bring them.   

I warn her this is a fighter training place and I can have her flogged to death if she importunes me this way.  I lie to her and explain it’s false stim.  Just an energy cube that looks like stim but is made from fruit gel.  She lifts her nose and smells in an animal sort of way and I almost expect her to snort loudly.  Matter-of-fact and coarsely she says in an ugly low voice full of hate, “Fuck you lying bitch.  You have stim, you share.”

Well, that cannot be allowed to pass, nor can I report her to the handlers or she will spill the beans, start an all-out investigation and search for other possible illegal substances in our sleeping compounds.  The results could be disastrous for our simple lifestyle and our shaky but deep relationships.  Plus the extra work of forking all the straw out of the cages for inspection or burning in the yard, then the possibility for all of us to being left to sleep naked on the paving stones without straw for who knows how long until the point is made.

I make Tiki return the stim cube I’d hidden in my hair to the Cydroid and silently enroll some fighters to deal with the new slave.  She is taken to the wash troughs and I call to the overseer that I suspect she has lice and must be given a thorough washing.  He laughs and says, “Give it to her before we deal with her ourselves, that krosspeeg.”

She gets a thorough washing, complete with soap in the mouth and other very unpleasant treatments involving bodily cavities.  Then a quiet but deadly talking-to that sobers her up.  When she realizes no one in the compound will side with her and all agree she is a liar and trouble maker, she remains silent and paler even than her normally white skin would show.  She is taken to the flogging pole and a full description of our last witnessed death flogging is given to her by some of the fighters.  That brings her down a few more notches. 

Finally the meanest looking, most scarred fighter in the compound takes her by the neck and shaking her says, “Me they call Girl-Flesh Eater.  Hate sex-slave pampered little fucking teela krosspeeg like you.  Soon day come I permitted to eat one again.  I eat you, yessss!  Two, maybe three day from today.  Tender, juicy.  I like.  I make kitchen prepare you good, medium rare, make me strong to fight.  Maybe you good for something then, uh-uh!”  She extends her hand and squeezes the girl’s face until her eyes are almost popping out, probably more from raw fear than the squeeze.  I swear that grip would have frightened even me, if temporarily. 

That was the first and last addict I encountered in the compounds.  She lost her appetite for stim, at least around me.  I could have left my cube lying in her cage and she would not have touched it.  Maybe it was cruel; maybe it wasn’t funny but Tiki and I and a few other women laughed much over this unusual episode.  That it should happen at a time when I was flying so high was also of note.  The air of celebration continued until the day of the fight. 

End blog post #71

 

Antierra Manifesto – blog post #69

Tiki brushes my back with a free hand as she walks by, still sulking from thinking of herself as condemned to gorok work.  I smile, but not so she can see.  The rain begins to pelt down but warm now in this world’s summer season.  I want to stand in it and dance just as total darkness falls in the courtyard.  That would be a sight indeed.  The oldest crone in the compound dancing wildly in the rain.  I know I could get away with it just this one time, but I cannot take the chance another woman would be punished for my actions.  They do have a sense of justice here, however twisted!  Somebody always has to pay or make up the difference.

End blog post #68

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Begin blog post #69

Chapter 30 – The Gift – Doing ‘Right by Wrong’ (Compromised Morality)

Tiki finds me in the dark as we crowd inside the stone vault where the cages are mounted. She hugs me quietly and unerringly leads us to our cage. I can smell the fresh straw that she helped put in earlier in the day. I can immediately tell she managed to put extra layers in our section. It feels good to lay in it full length, let her lay on top of me as the young ones like to do and feel her warmth and slow movements. Dangerously arousing.

Tiki, how you find me so quick in the dark?”

I follow scent of you. I know it you. My nose, it knows.” She laughs low to hear herself say something funny. I laugh also.

Thank you for the fresh straw, Tiki. You are very good, very strong worker. Now I know. Now I ask for you to train as fighter. Soon, no more gorok work for Tiki.” We both laugh as she throws herself into me and wraps her short arms around my skinny, bony torso.

You say ‘thank you’ to me? To woman? Why it feel so good to hear, huh?” and before I can think of an answer she continues breathlessly, “I train for fighter now? Is true?”

Yes is true. You begin training now. Hard, tough training. You swear you be best fighter, best ever fighter, Tiki? Better than me?”

I have awakened a deeper part of her. She weighs my words carefully.

Tiki cannot say she better than you. Only when Tiki dying from blows in arena, when old, then she know if better. I say I swear to be best fighter. Then I work and I do my promise to you.”

Listen Tiki. I teach you new words. You swear means you make ‘a vow’.”

“… a vow.”

Yes. Now say this: I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti.”

I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti.”

Tiki, good words be power words. Speak new words and always you find new power in them. Power of expression. Expression is word that means how you talk, how you speak to me, how you communicate. Strong words – you know deep meaning, they make people listen. Even challenger listen, even enemy must listen to power word.”

I make a vow to fulfill my promise to you Anti. I learn expre-shon to communicate.” She twists her lips with the sounds. She laughs quietly.

One small step for me, one giant step for the women of Malefactus, no, I must learn to use my new name for this world: T’Sing Tallala – Land of Freedom and Hope.

That is the happy part of our life here. I don’t carry the burden of ‘inloveness’ as I did with Deirdre, so have much more freedom to express myself and my compassionate heart constriction to suffering is easier to bear as it is now properly spread over the entire compound, to include all the women. In time I expect to be able to ‘push’ my compassion to include the planet and all the people on it, men, women, children. For now, that is not possible.

The thunder rumbles outside and lightning still flashes and lights the dark stones in our vault. It gives me a lightness of heart I enjoy. From somewhere an opening allows a draft to blow over us, giving us goose pimples. We bury deeper in the straw and giggle.

It is time to continue another line of teaching.

Tiki, do you remember the other day when we spoke of love and I said I would teach you of a love that does not cause pain or hurt?”

Huhmmm…” She had placed her hand under my right armpit and is twirling the hair growing profusely there. Long ago I learned that when any of these young ones share space with me, my body belongs to them. It is the body of the mother they never had. They can use it or explore it as they wish. There is so much freedom in just allowing the flesh to move with the surface feelings. I enjoy her physical company. Her silent way of seeking comfort and exploring all the feelings her body can give her by contact with mine.

It called selfless love Tiki. It means you love to make other feel good, not you. Always you love for other, not for you.”

I not Cholradil. I love if choose to love. If I not like, I not love. How can I be best fighter if love in my heart? It would hurt, make no sense.”

I do not mean as a Cholradil. What they have be not love. Is called natural empathy. Is feeling. True love not feeling. As you say, you choose to love. But true love choose to love all people same. No one special in heart. All same.”

Stupid Anti. You love Warmo? What happen if you do? He live, he go back to torture us. So, how you love us if no kill him. How you love him if kill him?”

Tiki, you be sharp, girl. You win this round hands down.” She taps my arm to indicate she doesn’t understand me. “Is OK. This what I mean. I think about what you say. Is true what you say. I not know how I love Warmo, even if possible. Have to kill Warmo? Yes, have to. Have to hurt him very, very bad, long time before I kill. Hurt him much and men watching must see hurt. Maybe even feel hurt I give Warmo. Have to give him what he give us to teach him how we feel.”

Yes indeed, if I would not become a useless sacrificial victim to Warmo I must remain of a divided personality. I must exist this portion of my time within a compromised morality context. I must continue to do ‘right by wrong.’ Some choices are not in our hands, that is, we make certain choices not by our nature or personal code of conduct but of necessity when the ‘greater good’ is at stake. And what is the ‘greater good’ that forces me to compromise my own nature?

I have resolved this moral question in my mind thus. If I perform an evil act against another to prevent a greater evil, that is acceptable providing such an act, if successful, does not in any way benefit me personally. Ideally such an act would bring about the desired effect while I, like the Phoenix, would be sacrificed in its fiery wake. It is important to understand this when faced with all such moral dilemmas. If I survive the ‘doing right by wrong’ act, I must atone for my part in it. If it benefits me, I must divest myself entirely of any and all such gain.

Having reminded myself of this process in my mind, I continue explaining these difficult concepts.

End blog post #69

Gimpy

(A short story, by Sha’Tara)

I was starting my third grade year when I got to know a scrawny first grade little kid with large beautiful brown eyes everyone called “Gimp” or “Gimpy.” I just want to quickly write up how it was we actually met, I mean to talk to each other.

It was lunch time and most of the kids who didn’t go home for lunch gathered in one large room of multi-purpose usage. There were tables and benches and the odd older desk too for those who liked to sit alone and perhaps read, or draw. Remember that was a while ago, even transistor radios didn’t exist then!

I had picked one of the old desks because I wanted to continue reading a book I’d just got my hands on: Treasure Island. It promised well right from the beginning and I was eager to find out if Jim would get to go sailing.

I had opened my lunch kit and was inspecting my food when there was a bit of a commotion. A scrawny kid was being called names and laughed at. One of those at the ‘bully’ table called the kid over, dangled a chocolate bar in a wrapper in front of him, then threw it down the aisle. The kid raced after it, got it, tore open the wrapper to find that it had been stuffed with dirt.

Amidst the jeers and laughter, I looked at that kid’s sad, confused and disappointed face. He saw me looking at him and realized I wasn’t of those making fun of him. He carefully put the chocolate wrapper still filled with dirt into the garbage can and limped over to my desk. He stood there and I saw his eyes grow even bigger as he eyed my lunch.

I may have been only eight years old but I came from a large family and I knew a hungry look on a kid’s face when I saw one. I asked him to come over and sit beside me, then I offered him half of everything I had packed for myself. The kid ate every crumb and I realized that he was starving. So I gave him more and kept less. I felt, I dunno, something warm and good and powerful rising inside me as I watched him devour my lunch. I didn’t even feel hungry anymore.

We became friends, and I think he sort of adopted me as a big sister. So I decided to help him with his school work as well. He was, from my point of view, terribly slow. Obviously he’d never been shown how to read, write or even do simple arithmetic at home before coming to school. In fact, when I asked him his age, he reluctantly admitted he was also eight years old. He looked no more than five.

“How come you didn’t come to school when you were six like the rest of us then?”

“My mom said it was too much bother and she couldn’t afford to buy me new clothes, that school was useless anyway. So I stayed home and on the street until a lady called a social worker came to see my mom and after she got some clothes for me, I came to school. Is school really useless, Deena?”

“No it isn’t, Gimpy. School is like being on a holiday where you get to practice your imagination, you get to learn things only adults would normally know, and when you know how to read, oh boy, all those books, all those amazing stories you can make your own, like you can accompany those people in the stories, become one of them, play along, have endless adventures.”

“Why doesn’t my mom know this?”

I had no answer but to admit I didn’t know. My own parents loved reading all sorts of stuff and they made sure we would not be kept in the dark. I had learned about measurements from reading labels on cans and bottles. I had already tried some recipes printed on the back of cereal boxes. I knew how to tell the difference between several ‘medicines’ stored in the bathroom medicine cabinet, as well as those stored in the milk house to be used for the cows, pigs or chickens.

A couple of weeks after I had gotten to know Gimpy I had to miss a day of school. After school Gimpy came to my house crying, his jacket torn and with a terrible black eye and split lip. My heart raced when I saw that. Even more so when he told me that the bullies had assaulted him at afternoon recess and beaten him severely.

“What about Sister Blanche? Didn’t she see what was going on, or heard anything?”

“I dunno. She watched, didn’t do nothin’.”

“Did nothing… Oh, never mind, let me fix you up as best we can and we’ll deal with this tomorrow.”

As I remember that day, so many years ago now, it wasn’t one of my best days. I wanted to be a truly good person. I never wanted to get into any kind of trouble and certainly did not want to get involved in a fight with other kids, particularly bullies. But I knew I still had to confront them. After all they had assaulted my ‘little brother’ and this was a blood thing from my point of view.

I kind of started it wrong the next morning when I waylaid the chief trouble maker who had assaulted Gimpy with, “Hey chicken shit, are you so scared to take on someone your own size you gotta beat up a little kid?” And I walked right up to him, sticking my face practically in his. “That’s unfinished business you left yesterday and I’m here to make sure it is finished so you’ll know not to mess with us.”

That was the trigger. He threw down his books and came at me. Now I may have been a girl but my dad had taught me a few fighting tricks of his own, some of which he had warned me never to talk about or brag about. He taught me about men’s particular weakness down there between their legs and I saw my chance to test that particular move. Needless to say it worked like a charm. When the others saw their leader down on the ground moaning and crying, they not only backed off, they ran.

I suppose that would have been that except a sister of those bullies went to tattle to Sister Blanche who immediately stepped over to us, grabbed me by the arm, pinching as hard as she could and made me stand by the blackboard in front of the whole class. When all were settled she ordered me to bend over her desk and she certainly didn’t hold back on the strap. When I yelled that “they” had started it, I got more, so much I couldn’t sit straight the rest of that day.

I didn’t cry and swore I’d get even, not on the bullies, I knew they’d stay away from me and Gimpy from now on, oh no, my aim was Sister Blanche. Whatever was her problem I’d make her pay. And I did, though not in any way I had thought possible if quite impractical. What I needed was something practical, and that’s what I got, from a very practical source: my mother.

After school (and after I managed to give the evil eye to Sister Blanche) I took Gimpy home so I could do a bit of sewing on his clothes, and put more salve on his shiner – that left eye was almost shut by then. It happened that mom had come in from the fields and of course wanted to know the story behind the black eye. So I told her, and Gimpy haltingly told his own version, without embellishments, including my punishment at school.

I should tell you, my mom has a fiery temper. She doesn’t “take any shit” as dad would often, and proudly say and she’d tell him to “shush George.” She didn’t say anything but I knew that she was brewing something up; I heard her and dad talking later that night.

Chores done, lunches made and time to head for school and here’s mom, in her Sunday best outfit, holding the door open, then walking with me to school.

“What’s going on, mom?” I asked and got the predictable answer,

“You’ll see.” And that was it. She went in with me and stood at the back of the room until the kids were settled at their desks then walked up to Sister Blanche and stated, loudly and clearly, “I want to have a talk with you, Sister. Now, and no excuses. Either right here in front of your class, or find us an office to talk in. Just know that I’m in no mood for games, savvy?”

I liked that “savvy” the way she said it. It was like reading a novel. I was so proud of her at that moment I swore to myself that I would become just like that some day. Anyway, Sister gave the class a reading assignment, put an older girl in charge and she and my mom left the room.

Sister Blanche came back a while later and let me tell you that if looks could kill, I’d have been six feet under and Sister Blanche in prison for life! I didn’t feel uncomfortable though. I gave her the same look right back, you know the kind when you feel that palpitation in your eyelids? The danger look full of hate and anger? It was at that moment that I realized Sister Blanche was just as much of a bully as those who had beaten up Gimpy. I grew up a lot that day!

That had been a Thursday and when Saturday morning was well engaged mom told me to get dressed, that we were going to see Gimpy’s mom. I was surprised but not terribly. Mom did things like that. If she had her mind on doing something it got done, (case closed as I liked to add for myself). That was mom.

When we got there, we had to bang heavily on the door to get an answer. Gimpy’s mom (who seemed too young to be a mom by my standards) stood there, holding on to the door, bleary eyed and her hair a total mess. She didn’t smell clean either.

“Where’s Gimpy?” asked mom.

“I dunno. It’s Saturday, innit? He’s probably roaming the streets looking for stuff.”

“You mean looking for something to eat, don’t you Violet?”

“I feed him. I got food here.”

“Yeah? Let’s see what you have that your kid could eat and live off of then.”

“Not today, I just cleaned out the fridge yesterday. I was going to go shopping today.”

“But you spent the money on booze, didn’t you, Violet? Look Vi, it’s none of my business what you do with your own life, OK? But the whole village is talking – not that those hypocrites are any better – but you’re going to lose your boy sooner than later. My daughter here has been seeing to getting Gimpy food at school, but that’s not enough. We could do more, but where would be your responsibility? By the way, I need to know your kid’s real name, Vi. What is it?”

“It’s Vidal. Don’t say I told you, and please, oh please, don’t call him that, he just hates it.”

“I don’t blame him. OK, at least I know. Now is not the time but later this afternoon I want you to come over to our house for tea, and I want for you and me to have a very, very serious talk, OK? You were a good girl not so long ago Vi. You babysat my kids and did a great job. It’s never too late to get back on track. If you don’t, Gimpy will be taken away from you and there won’t be anything any of us can do. Deena and Gimpy are very good friends and I’d hate to see them separated. Promise you’ll come?”

“I promise I’ll come Mrs. Bennett, I promise.”

“Good. I have a few dollars here for you to buy some decent groceries. Do something good for your boy, it’s high time to make him proud of you just as my kids are proud of me, if that makes any sense. Go shopping, hold your head high and ignore the snotty noses. Right now you have one thing in your favour as far as I’m concerned: you’re not a pew warming hypocrite. Not much but it’s something to go on. See you later.”

We walked home together, mom and I, and I held her hand as if she’d been royalty and I’d just been adopted. That kind of pride. And she taught me a new word. She said, “there’s a name for people like Sister Blanche and that’s a bigot. She thinks Gimpy’s mom is a bad sinner because she doesn’t go to church and she ‘entertains’ on her own. That’s why she didn’t help Gimp. You don’t ever want to be like that Sister Blanche.”

That was my mom. That was the shining light of humanity I swore to myself I would learn from, and I did. My mom didn’t actually die, she just moved inside me where I had left a big part of my heart for her to live in. She is there still.

I need to finish this, so here goes. Violet, that is, Mrs. Atkinson did choose to become responsible and raised her boy properly from there on. Gimpy became Doctor Vidal Atkinson, now retired. Sister Blanche was transferred halfway through that school year – she was not regretted by anyone, and isn’t it sad to not realize when one’s character is faulty and needs changing? The ‘bullies’ grew up and did change their characters… I even dated a couple of them and we had some pretty wild times. When my dad was dying, his last words were, “Don’t take any shit, Jane” as mom sat by his bedside crying and saying, “It’s so hard all of a sudden Todd. You were my life, my whole life. What will I do now?” But he passed on without an answer for her, or me.

And me? Well I’m still Deena Bennett and I’ve been sort of a writer of stories and tales and of the stuff that any observing person can see. Some of us just know how to put it in words so that others can also remember. Have I been successful? That depends. I was there for Gimpy and how many lives did he save as a good doctor? I grew a heart big enough to accommodate my mom and I and quite a few Violet type strays over the years. I never had to beg for anything.

 

Should the U.S. build the wall?

I am working at keeping politics down to a dull roar on here but once in a while something comes by that merits re-posting.  The following came via email and there was no authorship given, so I’m posting as “anonymous”.  Also I’ve just upgraded this site to paid, so I thought I should give that a bit of a ride. If it gets rid of the ads it will be worth it.  I HATE ads!

Now on that wall thing,  physicians try to reach a consensus:

The Allergists were in favour of scratching it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.

The Gastroenterologist’s had sort of a gut feeling about it, but the Neurologists thought Trump had a lot of nerve.

Meanwhile, Obstetricians felt certain everyone was labouring under a misconception, while the Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.

Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Pediatricians said, “Oh, grow up!”

The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.

Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing and the Internists claimed it would indeed be a bitter pill to swallow.

The Plastic Surgeons opined that this proposal would “put a whole new face on the matter.”

The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.

Anesthesiologists thought the concept was a gas, and those lofty Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.

In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the assholes in Washington!

Political Satire, but, What if, or ‘Why not?’

[thoughts from    ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

The creature I am about to describe here has earned itself many sobriquets over the recent years, months, even days and some are getting quite exotic. A few: (borrowed from  https://wolfessblog.wordpress.com/2018/12/12/to-the-end-of-the-loud-illiterate-pretender/

prictator, orangubrat, trumptard, dolt45, trumpussy, and my favourites, presidunce and Agolf Twitler. This set me to thinking about a fitting end to its presiduncy.

In a normal country (don’t worry, there aren’t any of these on this planet) the creature mentioned above, and I have to assume ya-all know by now what that is, wouldn’t be jailed, that’s too normal. Try to imagine the damage it could cause in a real people jail. I know that people in America seem quite unconcerned about the treatment of prisoners in the nation’s endless jail but there has to be a limit as to what helpless prisoners are exposed to.

No, definitely not a jail. It would be put in a zoo designed especially just for it.

The layout of the main retention area would be shaped like the oval office, naturally, we want it to believe it is still in its natural habitat after all.

McDooDoo and KFC would get the contracts to keep the creature fed.

It would be given a sturdy fake cell phone with tones on the buttons and a slobber-proof light-up screen so it could tweet at night.

It would be given stacks of monopoly money to fondle and some tough rubbery human-like dolls, child size and adult, with various coloration of non-white skin-like coverings so it could thrash them about when in a rage. It would also be given an over-sized golf driver to smash up the figures.  Part of the entertainment at this stage would be to hear its wild screams of, “Terrorist!  Rapist! Murderer! Fake refugee! Liar, Thief!”

There would, of course, be a large mud bath where it could go to cool off from the blistering sun where it would repeat some simple mantras like: “Climate change is fake news, fake news, fake news!!!!!” “MAGA, MAGA, MAGA, MAGA!!!!!” “Coal, coal, coal, oh so beautiful coal!!!!!” “Biggly, biggly, biggly, want more food!!!!!”

Near the visitor fence there would be a fake computer stand with a fake Mensa testing board that would ding loudly each time the creature pressed the very large, orange, *1000 POINTS!* button, at which in predictable Pavlovian response it would run to a small trap door where the big mac, large fries, Coke and fried chicken would appear to be ravenously gulped down .

Of the containment fencing, the south fence would be turned into a solid cement wall with these words engraved in it: “Mexico on the Other Side.” To drive the creature crazy (and for the additional entertainment value) there would be a hole in the wall just big enough to allow a human to crawl through and nothing available to plug the hole.

To keep the creature totally happy, if not deliriously so, there would be a full-sized mirror with the words in fake gold on top: PRESIDUNCE AGOLF TWITLER

With enough funding from amused patrons, the rest of the creature’s tribe could hopefully be housed in there also… 

I enjoy dreaming of great endings to otherwise pathetic dramas.